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How to improve my bright setup?

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
Hi,

My main purpose of my setup was intended for Blu-Ray movies and I love bright, fun speakers for movies, hence why I went for the Monitor Audio Radius 270 (KEF egg rears) and Yamaha combo, but I have just started getting back into listening to music and obviously find them way too bright for music.

My favourite artists vary from Nickelback, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Guns n Roses, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, Michael Buble, John Legend to Michael Jackson.

I listen to my music via my 360 (WMA lossless codec) optical cable to amp. I will be however be changing my 360 to a PS3, which will then be connected via HDMI.

After reading the DACs sticky I think this might be the very first thing to get assuming it would improve my DVD players, CD playback as well as the 360s. What will be the main benefits for a DAC in my setup?

My next way of thinking in regards to battle my bright speakers was Arcam, who I understand make very warm sounding equipment. Would an Arcam power amp (via the pre-outs on my amp) help or would I have to go the full hog and get an integrated, which isn't ideal due to having two volume controls to muck about with.

I'm very open to going 2nd hand to keep the costs down!

Any ideas??

Thanks in advance
 

evans

Established Member
recently bought an arcam a70 amp Diva range and have it connected to a reletively cheap dvd player Denon 1730 which has burr brown DAC. My speakers are B&W 601 s3 and the sound is sublime! I also use an equalizer and a a belkin pureav power isolator. I also use belkins silver series rca interconnects and speaker wire.

Before i was listening via coaxial on an old yamaha 595 av amp. No contest the arcam is way better. Also if you have pre outs on the av receiver then the arcam has av processor mode which you can control the volume via the av receiver and have front L and R speakers connected to your arcam. Get yourself a good cd player with decent DAC's like Denon. A good DAC is quite costly.

good luck!
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
Unfortunately, if I could of afforded a Diva I would of got a better surround sound amp. I'm only after spending £200 tops.
 

evans

Established Member
the a70 is the cheapest intergrated amp of what i know and it is very good build quality sound. I think if you are in england they are going for around the 350 mark. Buying another more expensive receiver wont improve your stereo sound unless you pay big money over 1000 pounds. Save and buy a good amp.
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member

evans

Established Member
i think they dont mine doesnt and my freinds amp doesnt so you need a good cd player or dvd player that plays audio well to get results. The alpha 8r is an old amp so dont know much about it , i bid for an a70 on ebay and it went for about 240 ex demo. Decided wanted new anyway.
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
I definitely want an amp that has a 'home cinema processor switch' as the whole two volume controls is a no no for me!

My nan has an Alpha 5 and it sounds great with all the oldies, but she does have Mission speakers which will sound loads different to my R270s so I can't be sure.

I see an Alpha 8r on eBay, is this a good buy for £100 and if I buy a external DAC, I can use a PS3 for my WMA Lossless music.

Is there any other makes that are renown for a warm sound that do amps with the processor switch?
 

evans

Established Member
buying stuff second hand is a risk even when they work when you get them home. I suppose using the playstation as a source and getting a dac is not a bad idea since your budget is only 200 i would check out the amp you suggest do a google or look here found some reviews for you:

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/arcam/PRD_115562_1583crx.aspx

the dac you could get is the beresford tc7510 as it is very good for price of only around 95 sterling. check here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=590340&page=2

also a belkin power isolator for about is a must it improved my sound no end

hope this helps but it is diffucult with your budget:hiya:
 

WhyAyeMan

Prominent Member
Beresford might not be a bad move. Its not bright, but even if you dont like it Stanley Beresford will give you your money back no quibbles, so its a fairly low risk if you like.

After that it would be time to look into the amp, but I'd be taking one thing at a time. Not sure what you would class as warm, as I normally go for fairly upfront kit (although I dont regard my system as too bright either which is why I dont really know what to suggest!).
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
So would anyone say getting the following will be the wrong purchase?

Arcam Alpha 8R integrated stereo amp £100ish Is it powerful enough (50w per channel)?
Beresford TC7510 external DAC £100ish

So for music without a sub:

WMA Lossless audio track> PS3> Optical Cable> DAC> Phonos> Arcam Amp> 79 strand oxygen-free copper cable> R270s

music with a sub:

WMA Lossless audio track> PS3> Optical Cable> DAC> Phonos> Arcam Amp> Pre Out Phonos> Subwoofer - Arcam Amp> 79 strand oxygen-free copper cable> R270s

I read feeding a DAC DTS signal will damage tweeters, is this still the case?
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
Beresford might not be a bad move. Its not bright, but even if you don't like it Stanley Beresford will give you your money back no quibbles, so its a fairly low risk if you like.

After that it would be time to look into the amp, but I'd be taking one thing at a time. Not sure what you would class as warm, as I normally go for fairly upfront kit (although I don't regard my system as too bright either which is why I don't really know what to suggest!).

With the speakers at full range the bass is more controlled than at 60Hz or 80Hz with a sub, but can sound thin with some music without a sub, any thing over 80Hz sounds too messy and one note.

Volume set at -30 to -25 sounds absolutely fine for me, very clear, detailed, neutral nor bright or warm. From -25 to -20 (normal listening level) the sound is getting towards sounding pretty bright, the high notes go really high, but bearable. From -20 to -15 the sound with fast, bassy songs starts struggling, almost losing control and tends to sound way too bright.

To my ears the sound needs more control and warmth.
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
buying stuff second hand is a risk even when they work when you get them home.
2nd hand is risky, but fingers crossed, touch wood, I haven't been seriously stung yet :smashin:

I also a belkin power isolator for about is a must it improved my sound no end.
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=98161&C=Froogle&U=98161&T=Module I have one of these :confused:

hope this helps but it is difficult with your budget.
I'm saving for a Velodyne SPL-1000R sub :devil:
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Something that may be worth a mention here, if you're planning to use the PS3 as both a Blu-ray and CD player, you'll need to go back to the main menu every time to manually switch between optical and HDMI - a minor inconvenience but irritating nonetheless.
 

DolbyDan

Prominent Member
Does any one think I will be better off waiting and seeing if I can get a deal on a Arcam Diva A70, as they're being discontinued?

One thing the Diva A70 has over the Alpha 8R, is the processor switch on the A70 is easily accessible on the front bezel, whilst the Alpha 8R is on the back.

Are there any other amps that have a switch to turn it into a power amp?
 

WhyAyeMan

Prominent Member
Another alternative if you are going for the Beresford, is you could try a power amplifier instead, will give you more power, the Beresford can act as a pre-amp and its apparently not too bad for this purpose.

You'll not be wanting for more power with that kind of setup, and it should sound quite refined.

Just be aware though that the Beresford is NOT a DTS DAC, its simply for PCM signals up to 24-bit 96 KHz. Feed it a DTS signal and you'll likely get an ear piercing sound from your speakers.
 

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